It is safe to say that some of us are born for leadership – however, there are plenty of great ways to work your way up to top roles if you have the passion and drive! Working as a nurse can be challenging, but there are multiple opportunities out there to grow in this career path.
Before you start looking at different courses and universities, however, there are likely to be a few tell-tale signs that indicate a move into leadership or management might be right for you. Let’s look at a few moments you might notice in your everyday work that could inspire you to take a step further.
People look to you for support
If you are already working as a nurse, you may find that other members of your team seek out your advice and guidance even if you are not a supervisor. This is a good sign that people trust you and, what is more, that you apply some of the most crucial skills in healthcare leadership in your current role.
If you find that you regularly manage a team and are not a leader in any kind of official capacity, it may be time to investigate additional training and leap into career acceleration.
If you do find that many people call on you for advice and guidance, it may be worthwhile asking your peers for opinions on whether they think you’d be a good fit for supervision. While you should never depend on others’ views on what’s right for you, it is always good to learn more about how you are perceived.
You are ready for the next challenge
While nursing can be extremely rewarding and challenging in equal measure, it stands to reason that – after a while – you may want to try something new.
Do you find that you are outgrowing your role or that the everyday challenges no longer stretch your mental muscles? It may be time to start looking into new career opportunities.
For example, now might be a great time to start thinking about enrolling in a course in DNP executive leadership. You can easily take on such degrees from home, via institutions like Baylor University, and gain knowledge and accreditation that will assist your move up the professional ladder.
The great news is that you can leap into leadership training once you have a few years of nursing under your belt. That means whether or not there are progression opportunities at your current hospital or surgery, you can take the time to progress at home or from afar.
You want to help more people
Many people go into nursing simply because they want to help others. It is one of the best reasons to get into healthcare at all! However, if you find that you would like to do more for people – or more for more people – you may find that a leadership position helps you realize these opportunities more clearly.
As a nurse or medical professional, you will naturally be helping everyday people with a wide array of concerns and illnesses from day to day. It is clear to see and measure the kinds of impacts you’ll have. However, as a leader, you stand to change even more lives for the better, and not just patients.
Nursing and medical leaders can help ensure various teams and professionals have the tools, confidence, and guidance they need to keep providing exceptional service. That means your influence and expertise could save even more lives!
You want to share your knowledge
In nursing, there will always be ample opportunity for you to share your knowledge and expertise far and wide. Whether you are already in a sub-supervisor role or are collaborating with others, you’re always sharing experiences.
However, moving into leadership means you get to share more than just a handful of experiences. For example, a nurse coach or educator will ensure the students receive up-to-date knowledge on the latest practices, tools, and standards.
Sharing knowledge and teaching others can feel very empowering. It is a great way to help others realize their potential pathways and dreams of becoming medical experts in their own right!
If you would like to do more with your experience other than support other nurses and patients daily, working as an educator can help your expertise travel that little bit further. It is entirely possible to lead a team while educating at the same time.
You are a great communicator
Communication is everything in nursing and medical practice in general. If you find it easy to talk to others and even influence those around you, you will likely find working as a leader simple to get into. Of course, you will need to make sure that you enroll in an appropriate degree at a reputable organization.
Communicating well doesn’t just mean you are good at making friends or are particularly friendly. If you find it easy to communicate difficult information with patients as well as people above your station, you may already have a great set of skills to take you into leadership long-term.
You’ll know you’re an effective communicator if you find it easy to simplify details or to show empathy to others. Empathy is a fantastic trait that all nursing staff should lean into – but being able to translate medical terminology and potentially frightening topics into everyday conversation is a genuine skill.
All good leaders are confident communicators. They know how to motivate, persuade, and support people without appearing pushy or rude.
Are you destined for a role in nursing leadership?
It is fair to say that becoming a great leader in nursing or healthcare will take a lot of time, effort, and intrinsic skill. However, if you already find you are thirsting for that next big challenge or that others rely on you in a semi-supervisory capacity, it may already be time to start looking at the next rung of the ladder.
The great news is there are plenty of great opportunities to scale up, learn and grow in healthcare – and there are plenty of people who will be willing to support you along the way.